• Doubleheader Day Game Top 5:
5. Call No.1, 2 and 3 Go Against Nats: The afternoon-half of today's twin bill begins with Livan Hernandez surrendering three hits and a sac fly in the first. Pirates' leadoff man Alex Presly singles to center, but he's forced out at second on what looks like a double play. Chase d'Arnaud is said to be safe at first, however, even though the replay proves the umpire wrong, but they don't look at such things. Runner at first, one down. d'Arnaud steals second and scores on a one-out single by Garret Jones, who lines to right. Livan cuts the throw in from Jayson Werth, 1-0 Pirates. Andrew McCutchen doubles to right with two down, sending Garret Jones around to third. Second and third with one down, and a sac fly by Neil Walker makes it 2-0 after a half.
The Nats' right-hander retires the Pirates in order in the second, after receiving no support from the Nats' offense in the first, but the Nationals start something against Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald their second time up, with Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa connecting for back-to-back, one-out singles. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez send hit no. 2,841 of his career to center. RBI single for Pudge. Morse scores from second to cut the Pirates' lead in half, 2-1. Espinosa gets picked off second, Ian Desmond K's looking. That will end a rally in a hurry...
4. Down Looking: Jayson Werth K's looking at an 0-2 fastball from James McDonald to end the bottom of the third after only seven pitches, all of them strikes. The strikeout is Werth's 15th in his last 31 at bats, and it draws boos from the DC Faithful as Werth's average drops to .222 on the year. The Nats' right-hander tosses his bat and helmet and heads back out to right field. Werth has just three hits in those 31 at bats which stretch from start of the road trip to Chicago and LA through today. Werth's third at bat of the game comes in the fifth this afternoon, when he steps in against McDonald with two runners on and one out after a leadoff single by Ian Desmond, a sac bunt by Livan Hernandez and a one-out walk to Roger Bernadina. The Shark's speed gives Werth a hit, as Bernadina takes a big lead and beats the throw to second on a grounder to short. Werth's hustling too, and safe at first so the bases are loaded. Ryan Zimmerman pops out behind first. Two down. Laynce Nix K's swinging, that's three. Still 2-1 Pirates after five.
3. Mr. National: Livan Hernandez retires the Pirates in order on three groundouts in the top of the sixth, having thrown five scoreless after surrendering two runs in the first. Livan needs just 11 pitches to get McCutchen, Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay in order, and he's at 81 pitches total when he's done with the Pirates in the 6th. Hernandez "misses" with full-count curve to Michael McKenry and issues a one-out walk in the seventh, and he's not happy about it. James McDonald K's when he fouls off a two-strike bunt attempt. Alex Presley K's looking at strike three. Livan's done after 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's, 98 pitches, 61 strikes, 8 groundouts and three flyouts.
2. Ankielled IT!!: Rick Ankiel bats for the Nats' pitcher in the home-half of the seventh. The Nats' left-handed hitting outfielder works the count full against James McDonald and launches a full-count curve to right and GONE!! Gone! Rick Ankiel takes the Pirates' right-hander out of the park over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center for his second HR of the season and the first since he hit one against the Braves on April 2nd, in the second game of the season. 2-2 game. Roger Bernadina takes a one-out walk which ends McDonald's night. Jayson Werth faces the new pitcher, Jose Veras, and lines out to left with Bernadina running like there are two down. Double play when Bernadina's tagged. That will end a rally in a hurry...
1. Burnett Gives Up Two: Sean Burnett's allowed 28 hits and given up 16 runs in 27.1 IP this season, but he had allowed just one HR all year (in 37 appearances) when he entered the game in the top of the eighth. A line drive to Ankiel in center center started the frame with an out, and Burnett thought he had out no. 2 on a 93 mph sinking fastball to Garret Jones, but it's called a ball. 2-2 count and Burnett's next fastball is launched to left center and into the Red Porch seats. Solo HR, 3-2 Pirates. Burnett throws a 1-2 sinker To Andrew McCutchen in the next at bat, and the Pirates' center fielder puts it into the visitor's bullpen in left-center for the second-straight HR and a two-run Pirates' lead. 4-2 Pittsburgh after eight. The Pirates add a run in the 9th when Matt Diaz singles to score Brandon Wood from second after Todd Coffey had walked Wood to start the frame. 5-2. Pittsburgh.
0. Hanny: Former Nationals' closer Joel Hanrahan's back in D.C. The Pirates' closer is 23 for 23 in save opportunities this season, and in spite of giving up an RBI single by Jayson Werth that makes it 5-3 Pirates, Hanrahan is 24 for 24 after he gets a ground ball back to the mound from Ryan Zimmerman to end the first of two to be played today in D.C. 5-3 final.
The Pirates even up the series at 1-1 with two more to play tonight and Sunday afternoon.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Name - Comments
|MissB - 71
|Whupass - 49
|jbg2772 - 45
|rachel216 - 45
|cat daddy3000 - 37
|gengreen17 - 27
|kingfishfarms - 27
|RobBobS - 25
|PerryMason - 25
|d_c_guy - 16
Nationals now 41-41.
• GAME TWO:
5. Let's Play Two: Top of the first of the nightcap, Nationals left-hander John Lannan gives up a hard-hit two-out triple by Andrew McCutchen, who beats the relay throw in from right to the third base bag. The other six Pirates' the Nats' lefty faces through two scoreless scattered ground ball outs around the infield. Seven up, six groundouts and one triple allowed through two for Lannan, whose 11 pitch frame has him at 23 pitches, 17 strikes. Brad Lincoln, the Pirates' 1st Round pick in 2006, making his first start of 2011, gives up a one-out walk to Jayson Werth. Werth goes first-to-third™, running as Rick Ankiel shoots a hit-and-run single through second. A Wilson Ramos groundout brings Werth home and it's 1-0 Nats after two in D.C.
4. Congrats, Fryer: John Lannan gives up a leadoff single to Pirates' catcher Eric Fryer. (His first MLB hit). Two outs later, after a sac bunt moves Fryer to second and a groundout lets him take third, the Pirates' catcher scores on a Chase d'Arnaud grounder that takes a high hop and jumps over Ian Desmond's glove at short. Tied right back up at 1-1. Andrew McCutchen sends a full-count change from Lannan to the wall in right, and it bounces off Jayson Werth's glove when the right fielder leaps at the wall. 2-1 Pirates when d'Arnaud scores on McCutchen's double.
The Pirates' starter Brad Lincoln walks Roger Bernadina with one down in the Nats' third. The Shark is running, and he goes first-to-third™, when Danny Espinosa shoots a single through second. Espinosa slides hard at second on what should be a double play grounder by Ryan Zimmerman, Zim's safe at first when the relay throw is wide. Bernadina scores to tie it. 2-2 game after three.
3. Extreme Groundball PItcher: John Lannan's at 73 pitches, 53 strikes when he gets through the top of the sixth, and the Nats' left-hander's gotten thirteen ground ball outs from the Pirates' hitters, but the Nationals haven't been able to get on the board since the third, as Pittsburgh starter Brad Lincoln's matched Lannan to keep it tied at 2-2 through six. Lincoln's thrown 95 pitches by the time he's done with the sixth. Pitches 74 and 75 by John Lannan are both hit for singles by the Pirates' right fielder Matt Diaz and infielder Neil Walker. Back-to-back singles, and Diaz is running on Walker's so he goes first-to-third and scores on a double play grounder in the next at bat. 3-2 Pirates after six and a half. Lannan's got 15 grounders, but he's done for the day: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 80 pitches, 58 strikes, 15 groundouts, 2 fly ball outs.
2. 2-2 Slider: Roger Bernadina takes a two-out walk from Pirates' right-hander Daniel McCutchen, and Danny Espinosa does the same. The Pittsburgh reliever is in trouble. Ryan Zimmerman steps in with two on, two out, with the Nats trailing 3-2. Zimmerman starts up 2-0, swings through a fastball, takes a low strike strike and watches a 2-2 slider for a called strike three. Still 3-2 Pirates after seven innings in D.C. The Nats are 0 for 7 with RISP.
1. HBP: Michael Morse gets hit with a 94 mph fastball in the Nats' eighth, but Washington's got the leadoff runner on, down 3-2. Jayson Werth flies unproductively to right, one down. The Pirates bring on lefty Tony Watson to face left-hander Rick Ankiel. LEFTY VS LEFTY!! One on, one out. Ankiel takes a five-pitch walk. The left-hander stays on to face Wilson Ramos. Two runners on now. Ramos takes a healthy cut at a 3-1 pitch, but comes up empty. Both runners go. Pirates' catcher Eric Fryer bounces a throw by third, Bixler was out by a mile, but he's safe on the throwing error, and he scores when the throw sails into left. 3-3 game. Ramos walks. 2 on, 1 out. Ian Desmond K's swinging through a high fastball. Two down. It's up to Pudge, and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez fouls off two 0-2 pitches before sending an RBI line drive to right, Ankiel beats Xavier Paul's throw home, sliding in safe and it's 4-3 Nats after eight.
0. STOREN WARNING!!: Ian Desmond fields a grounder from Overbay behind second, and makes a strong throw. One down. Neil Walker grounds sharply to third. Ryan Zimmerman backhands and throws from foul territory...IN TIME! Two down. Xavier Paul hits a tension-building single through short. Two down, runner on first, Eric Fryer grounds into a force at second. Ballgame. Nats win, 4-3 final. Steal the nightcap from the Pirates. Storen's 20th save. Ryan Mattheus' first major league win. Nationals win their 42nd of 84. 4-3 final.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
Nationals now 42-42.